Syndicate of Bus drivers condemns the continuance of detention of Reza Shahabi, Ebrahim Madadi and Mansoor Osanloo

mansour-osanloo-ITUC-300x225We condemn the continuance of Reza Shahabi’s detention and approval of one year sentence for Mansoor Osanloo.

Reza Shahabi board member of Workers of Tehran and Suburb Bus Drivers Syndicate was arrested on June 12, 2010, and has been in a limbo in Evin prison for more than 3 months.

This Syndicate board member has been suffering from pain in the lumbar region and the neck. He has been in contact with his family through phone calls on sundays and visits with them in cabin on Thursdays. We have also been notified of the approval of one year sentence for Mansoor Osanloo based on charges of propaganda against the regime which was issued by the primary court after and he is forced to serve the total of 6 years in prison including the 5 years he was given due to his activities in 2005 (1384 persian year).

Also Ebrahim Madadi another board member of this Syndicate whom has been imprisoned in Evin prison over 2 years and is serving his 3.5 years sentence due to union activities has been deprived of any vacation time.  Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburb Bus Company condemns the continuance of detention of Reza Shahabi, Ebrahim Madadi and the approval of one year sentence for Mansoor Osanloo and has asked for the release of all imprisoned workers activists.

Syndicate of Vaahed workers, Tehran and Suburbs Bus

September 2010

Source: Syndicate of Vaahed

سندیکای واحد: ادامه بازداشت و احکام صادره علیه فعالین سندیکای اتوبوسرانی را محکوم میکنیم

سندیکای کارگران شرکت واحد ادامه باز داشت رضا شهابی ،ابراهیم مددی و تایید حکم یکسال زندان برای منصور اسالو را محکوم می کند و خواهان آزادی همه فعالین کارگری زندانی می باشد

ادامه بازداشت رضا شهابی و تایید حکم یکسال زندان برای منصور اسالو را محکوم می کنیم

رضا شهابی عضو هیئت مدیره سندیکای کارگران شرکت واحد اتوبوسرانی تهران و حومه که از تاریخ 22 خرداد ماه 1389 دستگیرشده ، بیش از 3 ماه به صورت بلاتکلیف در زندان اوین به سر می برد

این عضو هیئت مدیره سندیکای کارگران شرکت واحد به دلیل درد از ناحیه کمر و گردن در حالی در زندان می باشد که روز های یکشنبه به صورت تلفنی وپنجشنبه ها از طریق ملاقات کابینی با خانواده خود در ارتباط می باشد همچنین با خبر شدیم حکم یکسال زندان منصور اسالو که به اتهام تبلیغ علیه نظام در دادگاه بدوی صادر شده بود با گذشت بیش از بیست روز و عدم ارائه اعتراض  برای رسیدگی در دادگاه های تجدید نظر استان تهران به قطعیت رسیده و نامبرده که به دلیل فعالیت های صنفی در سال 1384 به 5 سال زندان محکوم شده بود با تایید یکسال باید مدت 6 سال را در زندان باشد

همچنین ابراهیم مددی دیگر عضو هیئت مدیره سندیکا با گذشت بیش از 2 سال که به دلیل اجرای حکم 3.5 سال زندان به خاطر فعالیت صنفی در زندان اوین به سر می برد همچنان از امکانات استفاده از مرخصی   بی بهره می باشد

سندیکای کارگران شرکت واحد ادامه باز داشت رضا شهابی ،ابراهیم مددی و تایید حکم یکسال زندان برای منصور اسالو را محکوم می کند و خواهان آزادی همه فعالین کارگری زندانی می باشد

با امید به گسترش صلح و عدالت در همه جهان

سندیکای کارگران شرکت واحد
اتوبوسرانی تهران و حومه

Yassamine Mather: Spin and lies in US

pic3-cyrus-cylinderYassamine Mather exposes the concerted efforts of the Islamic regime against Iranian women

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the 43 year old mother of two who awaits the death penalty by stoning in Iran on adultery charges brought by the sharia court in Azerbaijan province, is on the cover of many western newspapers and the subject of news broadcasts in Europe and the US. Last Sunday, protesters, including philosophers and singers, were among those taking part in a demonstration in Paris in solidarity with Mrs Ashtiani, while similar protests took place in cities throughout the world.

One of her lawyers has been forced to leave Iran, seeking political asylum in Scandinavia. European ministers, presidents and MPs are defending her right to live, yet in her home town of Tabriz very few seem to be aware of her plight. The local media has not mentioned her case except as a small column in the ‘accidents’ pages, official Iranian TV channels do not cover her story and, arriving in New York this week, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claimed: “reports of a woman being sentenced to killing by stoning in Iran were fabricated, made up and part of Western propaganda.”[1]. All this after many official statements by Iran’s foreign ministry that the stoning of Mrs Ashtiani will be reviewed![2].

It appears that her sentence, like the exaggerated claims about Iran’s nuclear and military capabilities, or the spying case against the three hikers (one of whom was released on the eve of Ahmadinejad’s visit to New York)[3], are for foreign consumption. At times it looks as if the Islamic regime and its president are determined to attract publicity even if it is negative publicity. Of course, it is ordinary Iranians who pay the price of this adventurism.

Sakineh Ashtiani was first tried on May 15 2006 by a court in Tabriz, and pleaded guilty to an “illicit relationship”, although the so-called adultery occurred after the death of her husband. She was sentenced to 99 lashes, and the sentence was carried out that year. In September 2006, her case was re-opened when another court was prosecuting one of the two men involved in the death of her husband. She was then convicted of adultery while still married, and sentenced to death by stoning. She later retracted her confession. The case was held in Persian; though she only speaks Azeri.

Every time the Islamic regime faced a political crisis, a new crime was added to Sakineh’s case; and now, as Ahmadinejad embarks on a wave of media interviews in the US, we are suddenly told there is no ‘stoning’ case. Those people in Iran who know about her plight agree she is the victim of a cynical ploy by Ahmadinejad and his supporters to deliberately attract international condemnations – part of a strategy to divert attention from internal economic and political problems.

No one should be in any doubt about the concerted efforts of the Islamic regime against Iranian women, however. Hardliners are trying to reintroduce a family-law bill that is recognised as discriminatory against women not only by moderates but also by some staunch conservatives. For example, one article of the bill provides men with the right to marry a second wife without consent from the first.

Fractured regime

As predicted, once the reformist faction was marginalised in terms of government executive power, conflict between Ahmadinejad’s government and the parliament, or majlis, deepened. The main parliamentary group, known as the principlist faction, is headed by the speaker, Ali Ardashir Larijani. The conflict has paralysed the state, with Ahmadinejad angrily withdrawing a number of bills presented by his government, claiming that they had been changed beyond recognition as they passed through various majlis committees. The government has stopped sending its decisions to lawmakers for confirmation, and it routinely fails to implement laws adopted by parliament.

In the last few weeks, another faction – the ‘pragmatists’ led by former Islamic revolutionary guard corps (IRGC) commander Mohsen Rezai – has also been critical of the government.

The ideological battles between Ahmadinejad and the conservatives has entered a new phase. He is constantly attacked for controversial statements made by his self appointed chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei. In a complete departure from all the ‘principles’ of the Islamic regime, on August 4 Mashaei told a gathering of Iranian expatriates that “the country should introduce the ideology of Iran, rather than Islam, to the world … Islam would be lost if it weren’t for Iran”. And, a week later: “… if we want to present the truth embodied in Islam, we must fly the flag of Iran.” His remarks were attacked as heresy by conservative clerics who accused Ahmadinejad and Mashaei of advocating nationalism and secularism.

In early September, Ahmadinejad and Mashaei presided over the opening of the Cyrus ‘human rights’ cylinder exhibition. The cylinder was transferred to Iran from the British Museum in early September and will be on display for four months. Some regard it as the world’s first declaration of human rights, and a symbol of tolerance and respect for different peoples and faiths made under the orders of Cyrus II, founder of the Persian empire under the Achaemenid dynasty, in 539 BCE following the conquest of Babylon.

Herodotus and Aeschylus – Greeks who lived after Cyrus – praised him and called him merciful. The Bible describes him as the “anointed one”, because he allowed exiled Jews to return to Israel. However, modern historians doubt this flattering version of events. According Josef Wiesehöfer, professor of ancient history at the university of Kiel, in Germany, Cyrus attained his goals with “carrots and sticks”, but in truth, he was a violent ruler like all others.

Inside Iran this sudden obsession with ‘old Persia’ has been reminiscent of the last days of the shah. His lavish celebrations of 2,500 years of Iranian monarchy at the palace of Persepolis, and the reciting of Cyrus’s charter marked the beginning of the end of his rule. So Iranians of a variety of political persuasions are not impressed by Ahmadinejad calling Cyrus a ‘major prophet’ and draping a basij scarf around the shoulders of a man dressed as an Achaemenid soldier at Iran’s national museum during the inauguration of the Cyrus cylinder. All this has led to a new title for Ahmadinejad supporters: Archemedis Bassiji.

Balancing act

During the last few weeks Ahmadinejad has made a number of new appointments: Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei as his special envoy to the Middle East; Hamid Baghei, head of Iran’s cultural heritage foundation, as special envoy for Asian affairs; deputy foreign minister Mohammad Mehdi Akhundzadeh has been named Iran’s envoy on Caspian affairs; and Abolfazl Zohrevand, deputy head of Iran’s supreme national security council, is now the president’s envoy to Afghanistan. None of these appointments were approved by the supreme leader, ayatollah Ali Hoseyni Khamenei, who decides foreign policy issues; and, of course, they are a challenge to the dominant conservative factions of the majlis as well as a blow to Iran’s foreign ministry and foreign minister Manuchehr Mottaki, who is considered a pragmatist, and whom many believed was the supreme leader’s appointee in the government following the disputed 2009 presidential elections.

On September 7, 122 MPs in Iran’s 290-seat majlis called Ahmadinejad’s move “illegal”, and the supreme leader warned against duplication of foreign policy roles, reasserting his support for foreign ministry officials.

Mashaei has established his own news agency, Mashanews, which is campaigning for an Iran without clerics (presumably with military nationalists in power?): “Iran needs someone like Mashaei to get rid of mullahs once and for all in Iran and bring back the great civilization of Iran minus the Arab mullahs who have polluted and destroyed Iran for the past 31 years.” Almost word for word what royalists and ultra-nationalist Iranians have been saying.

The Islamic reformist reaction came from ex-president Seyed Mohammad Khatami: “I don’t want to speak about individuals. I believe that the clergy has played an important role in the regime. The thesis ‘Islam minus the clergy’ is fundamentally senseless, just like medicine without doctors, and has imperialist roots. Its goal is to marginalize the clergy from the arena and to give room to those who have deviated and have fundamental problems with the Islamic revolution and the regime. Therefore, this movement will not find a path among the devout and the principlist.”

So here we are – Ahmadinejad and royalists on one side, Khatami, Mir-Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karoubi on the opposite side. Iran’s supreme leader has a difficult choice to make; his balancing act between the warring factions of the regime cannot last long and everyone inside and outside Iran is well aware of this.

Sanctions economy

The economy is in ruins. Sanctions are taking their toll and the government is paralysed. Sanctions on the banking and finance sector started three years ago; however it is only in the last few months that the new round of tougher sanctions and investment conditions has created problems for ordinary Iranians. Morteza Massoumzadeh of the Iranian business council in Dubai explains: “During this period we have seen the volume of economic activity in some cases drop by more than 50%”. New sanctions will make Iranian foreign exchange trade more difficult.

Economist Bijan Bidabadi told the BBC that sanctions on banking has put pressure on the economy. Some private banks have tried to substitute for banks listed in the sanctions bill, but their resources are too limited to cope with the country’s trade dealings.

Many importers and exporters are using loans to pay for transportation, others are entering deals without formal invoices and this will affect the economy. As greed, lack of spare parts (due to sanctions) and corruption continue to destroy manufacturing, including food production and agriculture, most of the country’s basic necessities are imported at colossal prices. Iranians are complaining that the price of most basic food items in major cities is more than the price of the same item in Europe. Most people, even amongst the professional classes, cannot afford to buy meat.

Last week ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, head of the clerical assembly of experts, told the annual gathering of the assembly that Iran would become a “dictatorship” unless current policies are reversed. He revealed the true extent of the sanctions:

“We have never been faced with so many sanctions … I would like to ask you and all the country’s officials to take the sanctions seriously and not as a joke.”

The remarks were aimed at Ahmadinejad, who has brushed away concerns about sanctions, calling them “pathetic” and less effective than “a used handkerchief”.

Paralysed

Disputes within the many factions of the Islamic regime have paralysed the functioning of the state. It is no wonder ‘regime change from above’ is once more openly discussed by the US administration, while Israel and ‘hawks’ in the US Republican Party are once more calling for direct military action. On August 17 John Bolton, former US ambassador to the United Nations told Fox news that “Israel has until the weekend to launch a military strike on Iran’s first nuclear plant before the humanitarian risk of an attack becomes too great”. Bolton was referring to the fact that on August 22 a Russian company was expected to help Iran start loading nuclear fuel into the Bushehr reactor. Contrary to all Barack Obama’s election claims, many of this summer’s statements regarding Iran’s nuclear programme and the need for regime change, as well as the dramatic escalation in the levels of sanctions imposed on the country, remind us of the Bush administration’s obsession with regime change in Iraq.

Let us be clear; Iran it is not an anti-imperialist state; its economy is that of a capitalist dictatorship; its foreign policy is limited to irrational, reactionary anti-Western rhetoric; and, given serious internal political conflict and its association with the occupation governments in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is neither in a position to challenge US aggression in the region, nor to support Palestinians. Yet, at a time of economic crisis, the hegemon capitalist world power is in no position to tolerate a rogue state in a strategic part of the Middle East. The severity of the sanctions can only be explained if we take these facts into account. Iran’s clerical rulers are busy fighting each other, the economy is in a terrible state and the US and its allies hope sanctions will bring about their desired regime change.

Reformists and US style regime change

Since the disputed elections of last summer, sections of the international left have tried to reduce protests by millions of Iranians to an imperialist plot for a colour revolution. In the US the World Workers Party stood firmly behind Ahmadinejad, denying any fraud took place and heralding the Iranian president as the champion of the poor, while leftist academic James Petras wrote:

“The demography of voting reveals a real class polarization pitting high income, free market oriented, capitalist individualists against working class, low income, community based supporters of a ‘moral economy’ in which usury and profiteering are limited by religious precepts.”

Nothing could be further from the truth. Far from being an opponent of privatisation or a champion of the poor, Ahmadinejad’s presidency has coincided with a period of unprecedented privatisations, deregulation of work, mass unemployment and a growing gap between rich and poor, and the abolition of all subsidies.[4]

As Iran steadily moves up in the ranks of the most corrupt world states, contrary to James Petras’s claims it is the upper classes, the owners of capital, who benefit from the current government’s policies. Dictatorships work well for those seeking maximum exploitation of labour. Who but a neo-conservative Islamic regime could have created conditions forcing car plant workers (among the elite of the Iranian working class) work three consecutive shifts in order to survive?

Owners of major capital have benefited from the policies of consecutive Islamic governments, especially since 1988. That is why they tolerate minor inconveniences caused by the interference of religion in private lives. In fact, unlike the working classes and the poor, they are not too concerned about sexual apartheid, bans on alcohol, restrictions on gatherings. They can afford to bribe their way into living a Los Angeles style life right in the middle of the capital city of the Islamic Republic of Iran. And both in maintaining a Western lifestyle and in their ultra rightwing Persian nationalism, they have an ally in Ahmadinejad’s most trusted deputy, Mashaei.

On the political scene, the leaders of the Green movement are not considered regime-change forces by the US. There are many reasons for this, amongst them the fact that they remain loyal to the constitution of the Islamic republic. Also because their coming to power would not be seen by anyone as the US regaining control of Iran, not a sufficient enough reversal of the 1979 revolution. On the contrary, they remain the last card of the Islamic republic, a safeguard against downfall of the entire regime. The overwhelming majority of the political groups and parties behind the foundation of the Islamic republic in 1979, as well as senior ayatollahs, both in the council of experts (ayatollah Rafsanjani) and those acting as source of shia guidance (ayatollahs Yousef Sanei, Bayat-Zajani, Dastgheyb, etc) are currently in the reformist camp.

This above all else explains why Iran’s supreme leader tolerates this legal opposition and why so often in recent weeks his office played the role of intermediary and peacemaker between conservatives (the majority faction in the majlis) and reformists, even at the cost of isolating Ahmadinejad. Of course, should other more trusted allies, such as royalists, republicans and former religious figures currently gathered around the regime change camp in Washington, fail to increase their support base, the US and its allies might then consider supporting leaders of the Green movement.

Opposition to the entire regime and the reformist camp

The last few weeks have been turbulent times for the reformist movement. Despite new arrests, the return to prison of activists on bail and impending court cases, sections of this movement seem to have found new confidence in confronting the regime. Attempts at gaining televised confessions from imprisoned reformists have failed and some have started proceedings against their jailers and torturers. Karoubi and Mousavi have launched a new satellite and internet station. However the gap between the radical young supporters of the Green movement and a conservative and rather ineffective leadership remains as wide as ever.

Two weeks ago Karoubi’s house was surrounded by a pro-Ahmadinejad mob who smashed windows and damaged security cameras; but they had to retreat having failed to gain any support from revolutionary guards. Even amongst Iran’s paramilitary forces there are divided loyalties between conservatives and neo-conservative pro-Ahmadinejad forces. In a clear sign of shifting alliances, revolutionary guard commanders issued a statement condemning the attack on Karoubi’s house. On September 15 plain clothes security agents raided the office of Mousavi and took away computers and some of his belongings. His office and website claimed this marked a “new phase in restrictions” on him.

Throughout the 14 months since the rigged elections, leaders of the Green movement have complained about repression and attacks by security forces. However no Green movement supporters have faced the kind of repression meted out day in day out to labour activists (such as Tehran busworkers Reza Shahabi and Mansoor Ossanlou), to defenders of women’s rights such as Shiva Nazarahari or to hundreds of leftist student activists arrested in the last few months. Having said that, a positive aspect of the continued internal conflict between the various factions of the regime is that it allows a limited breathing space to workers, women and students who are waging the real struggle for regime change from below – its revolutionary overthrow.

While conflicts between plain clothes security forces and military and Pasdar leaders who call them ‘rogue agents’ are escalating, reformists and conservatives are attempting a new alliance against neo-conservatives around Ahmadinejad. With severe sanctions and renewed talk of military attacks against Iran, all of this heralds a new phase in the post-election period.

There is the danger of increased repression, imprisonment of all opposition figures, imposition of terror and further attacks on the working class. However there is also a possibility that the cracks between the majlis and the president are too deep to permit a reconciliation, that protests will continue and that the next round of mass protests against unemployment, abolition of subsidies and the lack of freedom and democracy will be more radical and effective than last year’s demonstrations.

Notes

  1. What death sentence? says Ahmadinejad, as Clinton calls for regime change www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/what-death-sentence-says-ahmadinejad-as-clinton-calls-for-regime-change/story-e6frg6so-1225926574574
  2. Iran stands firm over Ashtiani stoning case www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-11212289
  3. Former hostage speaks as Ahmadinejad arrives in USA www.pressherald.com/news/nationworld/former-hostage-speaks-as-ahmadinejad-arrives-in-u_s__2010-09-20.html
  4. ‘Iran, economic and political crises’ Critique volume 38- issue 3, August 2010 www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a924315217~frm=titlelink

Child M and family lose final legal appeal – Act NOW!

From Permanent Revolution

The situation is now desperate. We may have only 72 hours to save the family and prevent their deportation to Iran .

Child M and his family have thousands of supporters. Their plight has received wide spread media coverage.

What next?

The legal process has ended. The Home Secretary and Immigration Minister can still halt their deportation and give the family the right to remain in the UK .

The only chance for this family now is that the Home Secretary and Immigration Minister agree to discuss the case with the family’s constituency MP, Sir Gerald Kaufman.

We ask all supporters of Child M and his family and those sympathetic to their case to do two things;

Urgently contact Damian Green and Teresa May and state that the family cannot be safely returned to Iran . They face certain imprisonment and worse.

Contact your own MP and Councilors and ask them to do the same and to cantact Sir Gerald Kaufman to offer their support.

It’s not over yet. Together we can still save this family. Please do all you can.

For updates: http://www.childm.org.uk

Nephew of Farzad Kamangar Arrested and Detained

Free all political prisoners now!
Free all political prisoners now!

HRANA – Azad Kamangar, a technical and engineering student at Yazdanpanah college in Sanandaj (Kurdistan province of Iran), was detained [on September 3rd] while on his way to school. He was transferred to an undisclosed location.

Family members of the student activist have gone to the Ministry of Intelligence and the Revolutionary Court for answers, but they have not been able to obtain any information on him.

According to HRANA reporters, earlier, in June, Azad Kamangar, who is the nephew of the executed teacher Farzad Kamangar, was under indictment by security forces following a memorial ceremony held for the May 9th executions. Authorities failed to detain him since he was not home at the time.

It is worth noting that following the memorial ceremony, a total of six university students were arrested by security forces. The house of Farzad Kamangar’s sister was also raided in an attempt to arrest her son Azad. The personal belongings of the student activist were confiscated in the raid.

هرانا؛ آزاد کمانگر، خواهر زاده فرزاد کمانگر بازداشت شد

يكشنبه 14 شهریور 1389 ساعت 13:15

خبرگزاری هرانا – آزاد کمانگر دانشجوی دانشکده فنی و مهندسی یزدان پناه سنندج دو روز پیش در پی مراجعه به دانشگاه بازداشت و به مکان نامعلومی منتقل شد.

بنا به اطلاع گزارشگران هرانا، آزاد کمانگر که خواهر زاده فرزاد کمانگر معلم اعدامی است پیشتر در پی برگزاری مراسم یادبودی برای اعدام شدگان 19 اردی بهشت در خرداد ماه سالجاری تحت تعقیب نیروهای امنیتی قرار گرفته بود که به دلیل عدم حضور وی در منزل، تلاش برای بازداشت وی ناموفق بوده است.

خانواده این فعال دانشجویی در مراجعه به اداره اطلاعات سنندج و دادگاه انقلاب موفق به کسب خبر از وی نشدند.

گفتنی است پیشتر در پی برگزاری این مراسم شش تن از دانشجویان این دانشگاه توسط نیروهای امنیتی بازداشت شدند و منزل خواهر فرزاد کمانگر جهت بازداشت فرزندش نیز یورش شده و کلیه لوازم شخصی وی ضبط شد.

هرانا

Repression against students continues: Borhan Baqaee and Mehran Koosha sentenced in Mashhad

bmBorhan Baqaee and Mehran Koosha two leftwing students of the Freedom and Equality Seeking Students (Daneshjouyan-e Azadi Khah va Beraber Talab) group have been sentenced to 5 years of imprisonment each though suspended for 5 years at the Revolutionart Court in Mashhad by Judge Kasuvi. This decision comes after the continued repression against the left in the students’ movement where in December 2007 the security forces arrested many left wing students, along with other activists Borhan and Mehran had received threats and faced intimidation from the Ministry of Security. They were arrested in the summer of 2008 in Mashhad where they were kept in detention for over a month subjected to physical and mental torture. After the security forces had received a guarantee they were released but then sentenced after a long delay.

Hands Off the People of Iran calls for their sentences to be dropped and for all of those arrested and imprisoned for fighting the regime to be immediately released without conditions.

In Farsi from HRA:

خبرگزاری هرانا – احکام قضایی دو دانشجوی آزادیخواه و برابری طلب، برهان بقایی و مهران کوشا که در احکام اولیه دادگاه انقلاب مشهد هر کدام به 5 سال حبس تعزیری که به مدت 5 سال تعلیق شده بود، مورد تایید قرار گرفت.

بنا به اطلاع گزارشگران هرانا، این دو فعال دانشجویی در تابستان 87 توسط ماموران وزارت اطلاعات در مشهد دستگیر شدند و پس از تحمل یک ماه بازداشت در بازداشتگاه اداره اطلاعات مشهد با قرار وثیقه آزاد شدند.

دادگاه بدوی این دو دانشجو پس از بارها به تاخیر افتادن در شهریور ماه 88 در شعبه 5 دادگاه انقلاب مشهد به ریاست قاضی کاووسی برگزار شد.

Saeed Torabian Board member of Tehran and Suburb Bus Syndicate has been arrested

Free Saeed Torabian Now!
Free Saeed Torabian Now!

Saeed Torabian, board member the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburb Vahed Bus Company was arrested on Wednesday June 9 2010 at 9 a.m. by security forces at his home and has been transferred to an unknown location.

It is worth noting after ransacking his home his computer and cell phone were confiscated by security forces. After the board of directors was informed, they, along with Torabian’s family members, despite their search, were not able to locate his whereabouts. Previously Mr. Saeed Torabian had been arrested twice during the 2005 strikes of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company and spent more than one month in detention. He was also suspended from work for four years and was denied wages and all benefits. After continuous inquiries with the court of public administrative justice he was reinstated in his job and was returned to work. At this time two other members of the Syndicate’s board of directors, Mansoor Osanloo and Ebrahim Madadi, are imprisoned in Rajayee Shahr prison in City of Karaj and Evin Prison in Tehran.

The syndicate of Vahed Company workers condemns the arrest of Saeed Torabian and other syndicate members and demand the unconditional freedom of its members and all justice seeking prisoners.

Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company

June 9 2010

Translation and reproduction by the International alliance in support of workers in Iran ‬

Source: astreetjournalist.com

سعيد ترابيان عضو هيات مديره سنديكاي كارگران شركت واحد اتوبوسراني تهران وحومه دستگير شد

سعيد ترابيان عضو هيات مديره سنديكاي كارگران شركت واحد اتوبوسراني تهران و حومه صبح روز چهارشنبه مورخه 19/3/89 ساعت9 توسط نيروهاي امنيتي در منزل شخصي خودش دستگير و به مكان نامعلومي منتقل شد. شايان ذكر است ماموران امنيتي بعد از تفكيك منزل كامپيوتر و گوشي همراه وي را با خود بردند. بعد از مطلع شدن اعضاي هيات مديره و پيگيريهايي كه اعضاي هيات مديره و خانواده ايشان انجام دادند هنوز از مكان نگهداري اقاي سعيد ترابيان هيچ اطلاعي به دست نيامده است. آقای سعید ترابیان در جریان اعتصابات سال 84 کارگران شرکت واحد اتوبوسرانی تهران و حومه دوباردستگیر و بیش از 1ماه در بازداشت بسر برده . او همچنین 4 سال از کار تعلیق واز حقوق و مزایا محروم بود بعداز پيگيرهاي مستمر با راي هيات عمومي ديوان عدالت اداري بازگشت بكار شد.در حال حاضردوتن ديگر از اعضاي هيات مديره سنديكا به نامهاي اقايان منصور اسالو و ابراهيم مددي در زندان رجايي شهر كرج و اوين بسر مي برند

سنديكاي كارگران شركت واحد بازداشت سعيد ترابيان و ديگر اعضا سنديكا را محكوم مي كنند و خواستار ازادي بي قيد و شرط اعضاي زنداني سنديكاي شركت واحد و تمام زندانيان حق طلب مي باشد

سنديكاي كارگران شركت واحد اتوبوسراني تهران و حومه

نوزدهم خرداد 1389

ترجمه و تکثیر از اتحاد بین المللی در حمایت از کارگران در ایران‬

منبع فارسی سندیکای واحد

Free Behzad Bagheri, Bahman Khodadadi and all political prisoners now!

Behzad Bagheri
Free Behzad Bagheri!

As we approach the anniversary of the mass demonstrations that shook the theocratic regime last year. The repressive security apparatus has stepped up their attacks and violence on opposition activists. The regime executed 13 people in Ghezel Hesar prison at the beginning of June in a warning to opposition activists that a repeat of last years uprising will not be tolerated. Dozens more activists and protesters are awaiting execution.

Even before the mass uprisings Hands Off the People of Iran was supporting left-wing student activists who were facing repression, arrest and violence by the security forces. You can see a video of Freedom and Equality Seeking Students members speaking in October 2008 here. The left-wing of the student movement in Iran has been one of the most politically advanced and therefore suffered greatly at the hands of the state repressive forces. At the end of last month Behzad Bagheri, a student at Tehran University and member of Freedom and Equality Seeking Students was arrested. His family have not been able to learn of his condition or charges and there has been no contact between Behzad and his family. He was previously arrested in 2007 with other left wing activists in 2007 for taking part in anti-militarist and ant-regime protests.

Free Mohammad Pourabdollah!
Free Mohammad Pourabdollah!

Earlier on 8th May Bahman Khodadi, another left-wing student was arrested along with other activists in Isfahan. This add to the already huge numbers of political prisoners including such as student leader Mohammad Pourabdollah who has been in prison since February 2008 after being arrested previously in February 2007, he has been kep it solitary confinement suffering torture and constant attacks by the prison authorities. Other political prisoners include the Bus Worker’s union leader Mansoor Osanloo.

The attempt to scare off the mass movement and to undermine the ability of the opposition to organise is being driven towards mass murder and detention. Our movement must call for the unconditional and immediate release of all political prisoners.

You can help by getting your union branch, your political organisation or yourself and friends to spread the news of the ongoing repression to opposition activists in Iran. You can also help put pressure on the authorities by sending messages of protest calling for the immediate release of all political prisoners in Iran:

Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran
16 Prince´s Gate
London SW7 1PT

info@iran-embassy.org.uk

Embassy and the Consulate switchboard: 020 7225 3000

Fax (Embassy): 020 7589 4440

13 executed in Iran’s Ghezel Hesar Prison

Iran’s Qezel Hessar Prison officials announced that 26 prisoners have been transferred to the quarantine to be prepared for execution in the past two days.

Reporters and Human Rights Activists of Iran (RAHANA) reports that the authorities executed thirteen of these prisoners this morning.

Mohammad Seyfzadeh, court attorney and human rights activist commented on the hangings saying: “Most of the executed prisoners had requested a pardon which was denied.” He added that most of these individuals were first time offenders.

The death sentences of these prisoners were mostly issued by Judge Hosseini, head of First Branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Court.

The Islamic Republic has stepped up processing execution sentences and 21 people have been executed in various prisons in the past month.

Iran holds the highest record of executions in the world after China, according to human rights organizations.

In early May, Iranian authorities executed five political prisoners without prior notice to their family or attorneys. The execution of Farzad Kamangar, Ali Heydarian, Farhad Vakili, Shirin Alamholi and Mehdi Eslamian was condemned by all human rights organizations as well as Iran’s chief opposition leader, MirHosein Mousavi.

The executions were carried out while three of the cases were under revision. Furthermore, the officials also refused to return the remains of the prisoners to their families for burial. After a month Kurdistan Governor announced that the prisoners were buried in a location which could not be currently disclosed due to security reasons.

Khalil Bahramian, attorney to some of these prisoners announced: “In effect we wrote letters to every possible person in this time from provincial officials to MPs, Head of the Judiciary and anyone that is accountable for this matter.” He added that the Head of the Judiciary acted in complete indifference to the pleas.

Currently 17 more Kurdish political prisoners are on the death row in different prisons of the Islamic Republic.

Source: astreetjournalist

Dreaming is a crime: Jafar Panahi on his detention

Jafar Panahi after release
Jafar Panahi after release

Jafar Panahi says at the moment he has little hope of making another film, all he can do is produce a film in his head but he adds “I will have to make a film, that is my life.” He is eager to thank all those who called for his release, film directors, actors, theatre directors, artists , festival organsiers but also his friends and compatriots.

He says : “I started the hunger strike when one night they took me for questioning and the interrogators asked: ‘what is the name of your film?’ I thought they were referring to the film I was making when they arrested me in my house on the 1st of March. So I replied ‘that film isn’t finished yet so it hasn’t got a name’. They replied no no, we are asking about the film you are making in prison in your cell.'”

“I said: ‘What film?’ These people really thought someone had smuggled a camera and I was making a film in their jail! The truth is once I told a group of fellow prisoners that I have so far made five films and as a joke I added ‘and here I am making a film of myself’. The jail authorities must have heard this and thought that in my tiny cell I was making a film.”

Panahi adds: “All the pressures imposed by these interrogators are due to their imagination, it shows their fear of cinema. Here (in Iran) it is a crime even to think about making a film! Dreaming about a film is a crime.”

(Translation from Farsi by HOPI)

Panahi stages hunger strike

panahi picBen Lewis reports on the campaign to free the outspoken film maker imprisoned by the Iranian regime

Activists in Hands Off the People of Iran have been informed that Jafar Panahi, the internationally acclaimed film maker who has been incarcerated for over two months, has begun a hunger strike in Evin prison.

This is the latest brave step by Panahi, who is increasingly becoming a symbol of resistance. The solidarity he can generate is of grave cause concern for the Islamic Republic, despite its jails, armed thugs and reactionary militias. Panahi fully realises this, and he is using his standing to exert as much pressure on the regime as possible. He has refused offers of bail, saying that he will only accept it when all other political prisoners are released. Like him, the overwhelming majority of these prisoners were arrested as part of the shocking wave of repression unleashed by the regime in response to the enormous protests on the streets of Iran following last June’s rigged presidential elections.

As we have reported previously, Panahi has been subjected to rigorous interrogation in jail. The Evin interrogators appear to be pursuing the tried and tested approach of bombarding him with the same questions over and over again in order to force inconsistencies in his answers, backing this up with the soul-destroying conditions and humiliating treatment for which Evin prison has become infamous.

Last Saturday the authorities kept all inmates in his wing of the prison outside their cells in the open air for the whole night. Next morning he was interrogated once more, this time being accused of secretly working on a film from his cell. He is particularly concerned about some of the new threats that have been made against his family.

There is clearly a lot of work for us in the solidarity movement. We must do what we can to publicise Jafar Panahi’s brave stance, not least using his wonderfully human films. He – and indeed all the other political prisoners in Iran – cannot be allowed to suffer without an outcry. Holywood directors Martin Scorscese, Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola and Robert Redford have issued forthright statements demanding his release. At this week’s 63rd Cannes Film Festival there were countless expressions of solidarity. One of the nine chairs for jury members remained empty in his honour. Given Panahi’s reputation internationally, it is quite striking that his case has hitherto been subjected to what John McDonnell MP has described as a “media blackout” in Britain, and we must break through this.

Simultaneously, it is vital ensure that the brutal actions of the Iranian state and its callous treatment of dissenters and critical figures of all kinds should not in any way be misappropriated by the US or UK governments to cover their designs on Iran and the region more generally. At a time when the permanent members of the UN security council – US, UK, China, Russia and France – have agreed on new proposals for a fresh round of sanctions, and when the rightwing Israeli politicians hypocritically hark on about the danger of a “second holocaust”, this is of the utmost importance.

Indeed, given that public opinion is not exactly welcoming the prospect of the further escalation of tension in the Middle East, one of the ways in which the imperialists may attempt to respond is to disingenuously latch on to the cause of Iran’s political prisoners. So there is a danger that the political and cultural establishment in the US and UK could hijack Panahi’s courageous stance for their own nefarious purposes. So we must redouble our campaign for the immediate and unconditional release not only of Panahi, but of all political prisoners, and link this with implacable opposition to imperialist sanctions and threats of war. A fight on two fronts which Hopi has conducted since its inception.

Solidarity success

May 12 saw well over 100 people attend a solidarity screening at London’s Soho Theatre of Panahi’s best known film, Offside, jointly organised by Hopi and the Labour Representation Committee. The event was the first in a series of film showings and solidarity events across the country. The Manchester screening took place on May 18, and there will be a further one in Glasgow on May 21.

The event opened with Soho Theatre’s artistic director, Lisa Goldman, providing a moving account of her work with Panahi on artistic projects in Iran. She was followed by John McDonnell, who outlined the significance of the campaign to free Panahi. “Every movement creates a symbol,” he said. “In refusing bail until all other political prisoners are freed, Jafar is taking a courageous stance that we in Hopi wish to applaud and highlight.” He emphasised the importance of Hopi’s core principles – against war or sanctions on Iran; but no support for the theocracy and unequivocal solidarity with genuinely democratic struggles from below against its rule, especially those of the workers’ movement.

This was a theme British-Iranian comic Shappi Khorsandi took up in her opening remarks to the audience, explaining that is why she “loved” Hopi. Offside was certainly a big hit with the audience: stormy applause followed its closing credits. At the end a message of thanks was read out from Panahi’s family.

PCS welcome

Hopi activists have been present this week at the Public and Commercial Services union conference in Brighton and our stall has had a very good response from delegates. PCS has been affiliated to Hopi since 2008 and the annual conference is always a good time to meet PCS militants new and old. Gratifyingly, the response we had from the delegates this year was particularly warm. We distributed some 400 information bulletins on the Jafar Panahi campaign and have already received over 50 signed postcards, which will be sent off in a special batch to Panahi’s family in Iran. We also raised funds for our campaigning work by selling numerous ‘No to war; no to theocracy’ badges and copies of Panahi’s films.

From Weekly Worker 818